According to this theory, the aim of punishment is to educate or reform the offender himself. Punishment is inflicted on a criminal in order to reform or educate him. This theory is commonly accepted at the present time, because it is in harmony with the humanitarian sentiments of the age. This theory does not involve treating a person as a thing; a criminal is punished for his own good- not merely for the good of others. Reformation or education of the criminal is the aim of punishment.
The Reformative theory is supported criminology. Criminology regards every crime as a pathological phenomenon a mild form of insanity, an innate or acquired physiological defect. Therefore the criminals ought to be cured, rather punished. They ought to he treated in hospitals, asylums, and reformatories.
Thus, according to criminology, crimes are not delibrate violations of the moral law. They are due to physiological defects. Constitutional defects compel criminals to commit crimes. For example, in Kleptomania a criminal is compelled to steal. Punishment therefore should take the form of detention in asylums and reformat or treatment in hospitals- The supporters of this view are called criminal anthropologists.
But every crime is not a case of insanity order to physiological defect. There are crimes proper. They are not due to physiological defects. They are deliberate violations of the moral law. They ought to be punished. But the Kleptomaniac is not punished but excused. He suffers from a mental disease which may be due to physiological defect.
The crimes which are deliberate breaches of the moral law should be punished, because they are not caused by physiological defects. But in insanity the man is alienated from himself and his acts are not his own. He ceases to be a person, and may therefore be treated as a thing. He looses self-control and should therefore be controlled from without. If we reduce all crimes to pathological phenomena, we sap the every...
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